Ethical Theory and Moral Practice

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 1019–1020 | Cite as

Kieran Setiya: Practical Knowledge

New York: Oxford University Press, 2016. Hardcover (ISBN 9780190462925) £56/74$. 308 pages
  • István Zoltán Zárdai

Practical Knowledge collects 10 previously published essays of Kieran Setiya’s complemented by two new ones (‘Anscombe on Practical Knowledge’ and ‘Akrasia and the Constitution of Agency’). The last piece, on Hume on practical reason, has been rewritten for this volume. A detailed and helpful, 33 pages long introduction offers an overview of Setiya’s position. Ethical rationalism is Setiya’s main target in the essays. This position aims to “derive the normative facts – what there is reason for us to do – from the nature of agency or the will.” (p. 1) The rationalist project wants to answer how we should live and act by starting from the metaphysics of agency and reasoning, and deducing from them the norms of practical reason. The norms of good reasoning are supposed to supply the norms of what is right to do. As examples of philosophers taking this approach, Setiya cites David Velleman and Christine Korsgaard. Setiya offers an alternative to this position.

The book is divided into two...

Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of LettersKeio UniversityMinato-kuJapan

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